Helpful Tools for Buying Real Estate

Why Use A Realtor?
Buyer Tips
Real Estate Terms Dictionary
School & Community Links
Mortgage Calculator
  Engage a real estate professional:
The first step in finding the right home is to engage a real estate professional to guide you through the entire homebuying process. A buyers agent is responsible for representing your interests in a real estate transaction, protecting you and your investment decisions. Be sure to use a Realtor you are comfortable with and trust. You will be spending a lot of time with your agent and trusting them to find you your dream home. There is no cost to you for this representation.

Check your credit:
When preparing to purchase a new home, make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. Get a full credit report and clear up any discrepancies prior to applying for a mortgage. Pay off as much debt as possible. The amount of debt you have when applying for a mortgage can limit how much money you will be able to borrow.

Get pre-approved for a loan prior to beginning your home search: Getting pre-approved for a home loan can save a buyer valuable time by determining exactly what price range you can afford. Being pre-approved for a loan can also give a buyer a distinct advantage over a buyer that has not been approved. Be sure to not confuse the term “pre-qualified” with “pre-approved”. “Pre-qualified” is just an estimate of how much you can borrow IF you are approved.

List your preferences:
Generate a detailed list of all the elements and features you want in your new home. Include everything from number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the type of flooring. Separate your “must haves” and “would like to haves” according to your budget. This list will help you determine your goals when searching homes. If a home does not include your “must haves”, move on to the next home.

Make an offer:
When you have found the right home for you, have your Realtor make a reasonable offer to the seller. Your Realtor can help you formulate an offer that is compatible with the market situation and handle any negotiations necessary. Be sure to stick to your limit and if a seller cannot accommodate this limit, then move on to your next option

Hire a home inspector:
Once you have chosen a home and completed a purchase agreement with the seller, hire a home inspector to establish if there are any problems that will require costly repairs on the property prior to purchase. If there are any problems, you can ask the seller to fix them in writing. Although the seller will be under no obligation to do so, your realtor can help you negotiate each item. Realtors have established relationships with trustworthy home inspectors and can advise you on who to use.